By: Prateek Patel

As a client, your job does not end with hiring the dream web design agency. In fact, that’s where your real work starts. Ideally, a web design project consists of the standard four stages: Planning, Designing, Developing and Testing. It is the first two stages that need your most deserving attention, and that too should be discussed with the web agency as it depends on the nature of your business.

As you start planning your website development with the designers, you will find that they will delve deep into your business model, your history, the intended audience and the rivals. It is important for you to be open about your vision and goals about your business so that the web agency can translate it accurately through their work.

 If you want your web design venture to be successful with flying colors, these tips might help:

  • Designate a Project Manager from your side:

    It's a new venture and everyone is excited to present their views and ideas to the web agency. But this is only going to lead to chaos. The best practice would be to appoint a project manager to handle all the work related to the web design venture. The project manager will be the liaison between you and the web design agency. Any ideas/queries/issues will be sent and received via the project manager only. The project manager will handle the following tasks:

    • Ensuring the right person is informed of an issue, if any.
    • Making certain that the web design agency receives the right set of instructions.
    • Keeping the team informed of any changes that you may want the web design agency to make during the project.

    Ideally, lesser the spread of information, lesser are the chances of confusion and chaos.

  • Preparing yourself with a basic sitemap

    Approaching the web design agency with a basic sitemap displaying your requirement allows the team to provide a closer estimate of time, cost and labor, and defines the core of the project. It also shows the web design agency that you are serious about this website and this project should be taken seriously.

    Although the sitemap gives the team a good idea of how the website will shape up, it is not necessary that the map will remain same by the end of the project. 

  • Building the raw content

    To a designer, the "Lorem ipsum" may be an ideal placeholder, but to a content writer of the web design agency, it is a biggest challenge to write something from nothing. Almost like magic. This is where your role as a client is important. Be as open and descriptive with your requirements and descriptions when you meet with the teams. Follow up the meeting with a collection of your points that you think may help the writers in the team. Even a set of documents with comprehensible raw content gives the writers a good head-start with content than starting off on blank page. 

    Another helpful step would be as available to the writers as possible to answer their queries and review their content. It is important to review their content to check if they reflect your requirements and are meeting the expectations. You also want to include the designer in your discussions with the writers to make sure that the content is in line with their design.

  • Be clear with the expectations from the web agency

    Here "expectations" is an all-encompassing word. It can include all kinds of expectations such as

    • Setting the deadlines and the milestones: You may not be able to set them but you can guide the agency to set milestones per your requirements
    • Quality of content and design: Make sure you explain clearly the nature of your business so that the team can understand the tone of content and design. Make sure you ask the team for a few samples of their design so you can set the tone earlier on the project.

    You will also need to draw a line between development and marketing, to ensure that your website gets its due SEO in time and you can assess the response to your website.

  • Get set for post launch

    While the web design agency is busy developing the website, you have no time to sit idle. You must start preparing for the launch of the website and tasks you need to perform after that, such as,

    • Getting yourself a Content Management System: you will need a good content management system (CMS) that will help you sustain the performance of the website and manage the content. You will be adding content and elements to the website as the business grows and a good CMS will ensure that this is as hassle-free as possible. Good examples of CMS include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and HubSpot.
    • Learn yourself some analytics: another important lesson you need to learn is about analytics. Running a website on the internet is useless if you cannot track its response and performance such as click rates, bounce rates, visitors per month, demographics. You can learn Google analytics for the same purpose.
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